Wizards’ Bold Rui Hachimura Trade Plans Revealed

Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Washington Wizards are a team that many people are keeping an eye on ahead of the 2023 NBA trade deadline. A lot of what they decide to do in the coming weeks could also shape their plans for the upcoming offseason.

One of their goals ahead of the February 9th deadline is to alleviate the logjam in their frontcourt. There are just too many players for Wes Unseld Jr. to play and not enough minutes to allocate. 

As a result, it should come as no surprise that Washington is beginning to field offers on forward Rui HachimuraShams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium has reported that the Wizards have begun having trade talks centered around the 2019 first-round pick with multiple teams around the league.

Hachimura is being viewed by Western Conference teams as someone that can bolster their offense given his ability to score the basketball. This is telling as Hachimura is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and the Washington front office was going to have some difficult decisions to make.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Rui Hachimura & Washington Wizards Updates

In addition to Hachimura’s impending restricted free agency, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis could both hit the open market this offseason. Kuzma is not going to sign an extension during the season, and all signs point to him declining his player option for the 2023-24 season worth $13 million. Porzingis also has a player option that he could decline to sign another lucrative long-term deal.

It is highly unlikely that the Wizards would be able to re-sign all three, so making a trade centered around at least one of them ahead of the deadline makes a lot of sense. If that player is Hachimura, it likely signals a strong belief from ownership and the front office that they will be able to retain Kuzma and Porzingis.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Rui Hachimura & Washington Wizards Updates

Something has to give in the coming weeks otherwise the Wizards run the risk of losing key rotation players without any compensation in the offseason. That would be a worst-case scenario for the franchise as they are going to be right up against the luxury tax this offseason. It also makes acquiring assets now to flesh out the roster that much more important as Washington will be limited in how they can upgrade and fill out the team in the offseason.

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